November 2006

In Detroit’s west side, life nearly comes to a halt as soon as the night falls. Mohammed Masuduzzaman preferred this semi-graveyard shift as a laundry-mart attendant as he could use the time to catch up with some studies. A PhD candidate at Wayne State University College of Engineering, Masuduzzaman probably typifies the middle class Bangladeshi who, after being disgruntled with the anarchy at home, sailed abroad in search of a better life. Masud was apparently a little late to start his voyage. With an eleven year old daughter and 3 year old son and a bachelor’s degree from BUET, several MS degrees in civil, environmental and urban planning, at the age near 50, he was still struggling for a safe existence in USA, the land of his dream.

On Monday, some assailants attacked Masud at his laundry mart, mercilessly chopped him over his face, head and all over the body. Masud was finally declared dead on Wednesday. When some of Masud’s BUET batch mates met his wife Dr Rubina Yasmin, she had an anticipated expenditure of around 12 thousand dollars including funeral arrangements and travel cost and had not more than a couple of hundred dollars in savings.

The day was relatively peaceful compared to last month’s violence. It’s definitely a mature move of politicians on all sides.

Conflicting reports are coming about Army being been called in to help law enforcement agencies. I am not sure whether anything such happened that warranted Army to be called in. I’ll hope Army will maintain as low a profile as possible. It was evident from todays experience that the less the law enforcement presence, the less was the violence.

BNP and four parties kept away from streets today. That helped.

But most heartening was today’s speeches by otherwise arrogant AL leaders like Tofayel or Shuranjit. If you read between their lips, it will be very clear that they didn’t want to do this blockade. From their speech, it sounded very clear to me that they will call off this blockade with minimal positive step from the CTG. They have been emphasizing they will cancel all these the moment the CTG takes steps to do something with the EC.

Lastly I am not sure why it takes the CG that long to do some changes in EC. CEC may quit, but whether he quits or not, it looks like that a number of new EC ( from 1 to 4) may be appointed to bring a balance in the commission and all the district and field level EC administration may change. I laso feel that this CEC is too inefficient to maneuver the election in any form.

And I have a feeling 14 party may accept these changes. Last thing they want is one more day of street violence.

Mainstream US news media was filled today with obituary of Actor Jack Palance. And hardly there was any mention of the man, who with his life long singlehanded struggle, defied worlds most powerful force, The US-Israel Alliance.

Yasir Arafat died today two years ago.

After almost half a century of uncompromising fight for his beloved Palestine, Yasir Arafat spent last few years of his life in the rubbles of his modest Ramallah house. Thanks to the man of peace Ariel Sharon, most of the time there was no power and water supply for this failing health old man.

And even with the mysterious illness ( Lord knows whether or how he was poisoned), he had to leave his land with a hope to live and fear of not being allowed to return. And he had to breath his last , alone, in a hospital bed, in an alien land.

Last picture of Arafat saying goodbye to his people.

He was repeatedly portrayed as the terrorist leader, cause of all trouble by the western leadership and the media.

Now, he is dead for two years. Did terrorism stop? Has peace prevailed in the land called Palestine?

Our country has come a long way since 1970s. So did corruption too. In those days of 70s, the opus of corruption was bank robbery or stealing of Blanket (Don’t know how many blankets you need to steal to become rich). Now a day we talk about corruption in a different scale. Those bank robberies etc are children’s game compared to the numbers being flashed around now a days to quantify the amount of money misappropriated by people involved in governing the country.

Who say we didn’t develop as a nation?


While moving away from unsubstantiated political mudslinging in corruption allegations, we have to find a way for objective exposure of corruption. Black money trail is one such path.
Black money whitening was permitted until June 2006. A small portion of the stolen money has definitely been whitened during this time. May be the big fishes didn’t care but the smaller fishes did go and whiten the money.

It will be very easy to identify from treasury log book exactly who whitened how much money. Then those who whitened the money can be investigated for the source of the income. It was initially estimated that more than a thousand crore taka would be whitened.

Question, should we do it i.e. should we try to identify and investigate those who whitened money? Will our political parties support the move? And more importantly will it help track down the ultimate criminals in our society?


Like black money, another black staff was abundant in Bangladesh over the last five years. This is the black goat, the famous Black Bengal Goat. BNP government may tell us about the tide of development, I can’t support all their claims, yet I can attest that the past governments has really brought about a Chhagol (Goat) Biplob (revolution).
I am not joking. If you go to villages of north, north east, southwest and south east Bangladesh, one site will definitely catch your eye. Hundreds of thousands of black Bengal goats roaming around the fields and roads.

Khaleda Zia actively promoted the Black Bengal breeding at Mymenshing Agri University, farming in villages with better breeds. Wherever she went over the last five years she donated chhagol to village women.

( Bnaglapedia Photo)

These black Bengal goats are very resilient livestock. They rarely gets sick. Village women and children can rear them with absolutely no additional cost. These goats start to procreate even before they are one year old and procreate 5 to 6 goat calves at least 2-3 times a year !

And don’t forget Khashir Mangsho and Chhagoler dudh.

And sad part is that with unprecedented 2/3rd majority and solid public support, this is all the 4 party government could achieve along with endless utter failures and corruption.

We must thank 4 party government for at least giving us a new identity as the country of Black Bengal goats. Yes, from now on, the country of Royal Bengal Tiger is the country of black Bengal goats.

Last month, the day Dr Yunus won the Nobel Prize, I posted a blog about an incident in gold coast of Australia. A Bangladeshi family was in turmoil, the mother was stabbed to death; a father was in hospital critically injured and a daughter, was screaming out in the street. Police, the western media and the world blogosphere picked up the story as an attempt of honor killing of the daughter who wanted to convert to Christianity. As I monitored this news in the blogosphere, I was amazed to see that within hours the news was first published in the local newspaper, it was picked up by bloggers all over the world, from Alaska to Adelaide, India to Israel. All used the story to, again, smear religion Islam with headings like, ” Honor killing in Australia”, Muslim Religion blamed for fatal stabbing“, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him,”, ” Father tries to kill daughter who wants to leave Islam” etc…..

Well, almost a month later, the truth is surfacing. And occasionally truth is stranger than fiction. The father, a physician, was almost killed. After surviving miraculously,  he, with two stab wound on the heart, finally could talk to police last week. The police arrested the teenage daughter. A lot of material on “how to kill the parents” was found at her room. It was reported that the daughter with the help of her drug addict local boyfriend planned the murder.

“ Muslim Religion” had nothing to do with all these mayhem.

Last night I visited Dhaka, via Google Earth. Here are some Pictures I took, just wanted to share with you folks.

Savar Shahid Smriti soudho

Like everyone else I started my day paying tribute to our war heros at Savar Shahid Smriti Soudho.